Surgical Instrument Cleaners and Soak Solutions. Surgical instruments should be presoaked or rinsed to prevent drying of blood and to soften or remove blood from the instruments. Washing instruments within a few minutes of surgery prevents blood from drying and is your best defense against corrosion, pitting and staining. Only use approved solutions for washing, disinfecting, and lubricating. Non-approved solutions are any that do not specifically state, "for surgical instruments" on the label.